A photographer captured amazing pictures of the only known pink manta ray in the world when he was in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia last year.
The pink manta ray, which is now being called as Inspector Clouseau, has only been seen a number of times.
The images were captured by Kristian Laine, a Finnish underwater photographer.
Clouseau was named after the detective from the pink panther movies.
Kristian captured the images near the Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia last year.
Talking about the amazing pictures that he captured, Kristian said, “It is very rare because I think there has only been around eight to 10 sightings since the first sighting in 2015.”
He added, “I felt amazed afterward but also felt like when I was in its eye level, I felt like he was smiling at me. He was big and I got into a touch range but obviously didn’t touch, I was super close, about a metre at best.”
He went on, “The whole encounter lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes and he was part of a mating manta train that was just circling around a cleaning station.”
Kristian is one of the few people that got close and managed to capture extremely rare images of the one and only pink manta ray.
Manta Rays only come in 3 colors, which include black, white, and black and white.
The mixed configuration is the most common.
Dark backed reef manta rays are more common because the dark color allows them to blend in the gloomy water underneath.
Their lighter underside allows them to blend in with the sunlight from above.
Scientists still don’t know why Clouseau has a distinct pink color.
Clouseau has a wingspan of around 7 meters and weighs nearly 2 tonnes.
Kristian said, “I have read multiple different answers, they have analyzed a sample of his skin and they have changed their theories many times and still don’t seem to know for sure.”
He added, “I think the latest theory is that it’s some sort of a genetic mutation causing a pink of melanin to be expressed.”
Mystery or not, the pink manta ray is one of a kind.